Estonia to adopt directive which protects rights of posted workers ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Session Hall at the Riigikogu.
Session Hall at the Riigikogu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Estonian Cabinet is scheduled to discuss a draft legislation on Thursday whereby Estonia will adopt the European Union's Posted Workers Directive.

The draft will introduce measures for better protecting the rights of workers posted to Estonia. 

In accordance with the draft legislation, a posted worker is a person posted to Estonia from a member state of the European Union, of the European Economic Area or Switzerland who normally works in aforementioned countries under an employment contract, and whom the employer posts to Estonia to work for the provision of a service during a specified period of time.

The draft would make changes to the requirements concerning work conditions that have to be ensured for a posted worker during their stay in Estonia. In accordance with the amendment, remuneration for work, not just the minimum pay rate of €584 a month, has to be paid to a posted worker. In addition, the worker has to be compensated for the costs related to the posting.

Furthermore, rules for long-term posting will be introduced according to which the entire Estonian labor law has to be applied to a posted worker after they have worked in Estonia for 12 or 18 months.

Under currently valid regulations, only requirements concerning minimum work conditions, such as minimum wage, work time and rest time, apply to posted workers, without any limitation on the length of the period during which they are applied. The draft legislation will specify that a temporary agency worker re-posted by a user undertaking when providing a service is also a posted worker. 

The number of workers posted to Estonia is on an upward trend. Where in 2017, 332 notices of posting concerning 1,229 workers were filed with the Estonian Labor Inspectorate, in 2018 the respective figures were 602 and 2,581. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 12 last year, 581 notices were filed concerning 2,342 posted workers. 

According to data for 2019, the biggest number of posted workers, 597, was posted from Latvia.

A quarter of the workers posted to Estonia work in construction and one-fifth in manufacturing.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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